Many luminaries have rhapsodized about the infinite pleasures of wine, with Galileo proclaiming the drink “sunlight, held together by water” and Hemingway calling the libation “one of the most civilized things in the world.” Kirkus Indie recently reviewed a memoir and two novels focusing on wine that readers should enjoy while savoring a glass of perfectly chilled rosé.
In The Barefoot Spirit, Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, the founders of Barefoot Wine, chronicle their inventive and successful efforts promoting their product—“California in a bottle.” They eventually sold their bustling venture to E. J. Gallo Winery. Their book, written with Rick Kushman, relates the two entrepreneurs’ effective marketing strategies, which included contributing wine to charity events and regularly contacting mom and pop stores. “An irreverent, eye-opening business memoir,” our reviewer writes.
A destructive pest threatens the globe’s grapevines in Steven Laine’s novel Root Cause. Winemaker Corvina Guerra discovers a horde of tiny bugs attacking a vineyard in Italy. She teams up with an attractive master of wine and an intrepid San Francisco reporter to investigate the disastrous reappearance of the insects and find a neurotoxin that could kill them. According to our critic, the book delivers “an entertaining, wine-soaked mystery.”
Vahan Zanoyan’s Waking Noah’s Vines offers a crime story set in Armenia. Celebrating the end of Soviet rule in the country, two friends wish to revive the moribund wine industry there. Haig Koleyan becomes a noted wine producer in Yerevan. Van Dorian opens the “most popular wine bar in the city.” But after a “nasty character” visits Haig, he suspects a sinister plot by the Russian mob to dilute and then resell his distinctive wine. Our reviewer calls the novel “a delightful fictional blend of history, suspense, and a love of wine.”
Myra Forsberg is an Indie editor.